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CS-4 Resizing for Prints Questions

Discussion in 'Retouching and Post Processing' started by paradiddle, Aug 19, 2009.

  1. paradiddle


    Jun 1, 2007
    1. When someone wants a picture a different size. Say 8X10 or 5X7 do you just crop the picture, or do you just image resize or both?

    2. Also they are wanting a 16X20. Can CS4 upsize or should I buy a plug-in?

    Thanks. Gary
  2. This is a subject that can be confusing. I going to go into detail, hopefully I can explain it simply.

    A. Crop - leave the resolution blank

    Most people crop by setting the size in inches like 8x10 and set a resolution of 300 ppi. This is not the best method. Leave the resolution blank and you'll have a higher resolution image.

    By setting the resolution to 300 ppi you are forcing PS to resample the image. Resampling is a method of creating new pixels by sampling the surrounding pixels to create an image with exactly 300 pixels per inch. Not a good idea unless you need to increase the resolution for jumbo prints or downsize for web.

    The crop should just cut off pixels, not resample them.

    B. Think Aspect Ratio

    The same crop can be used to order severai size prints as long as the aspect ratio is the same
    An 8x10 crop with resolution blank is the same size as a 16 x20.
    Try it.
    Leave the resolution blank and crop to 8x10
    Look at the Image size (Image > Image Size)
    Go back to the original by hitting File > Revert (reverts to your last save)
    Now crop to 16x20 with resolution blank
    Look at the Image size
    The Image size of the 8x10 is exactly the same as the 16x20, the only thing that changed was the resolution. The resolution of the 16x20 is 50% of the 8x10.

    Now try a crop 8x10 and 300ppi
    Look at the Image size, see how much smaller it is in pixels.

    C. A lab like mpix.com requires a minimum resolution of 100 ppi. Do the math.

    Let's say you have an image that's 2,000 pixels 3,000 pixels
    Use this simple formula.

    Image size / size = resolution.

    Example: Image is 2,000 pixels x 3,000 pixels
    2,000 pixels / 20 inches = 100 pixels per inch (ppi)
    3,000 pixels / 30 inches = 100 pixels per inch (ppi)

    So you can print this image 20x30 at mpix.com
    Do not worry about anything except the image size in pixels.

    The same image as a 4x6
    2,000 pixels / 4 inches = 500 pixels per inch (ppi)
    3,000 pixels / 6 inches = 500 pixels per inch (ppi)

    Well beyond the minimum, this is a good thing and the lab does not care about files that are too large.

    So when you crop think about aspect ratio and image size in pixels
    The same crop can be printed in several sizes.

    D. When do you resample?

    For use on the web specify a ppi of between 72 and 92 and select Bicubic sharper (the default resample for crop is set in preferences)

    If you have a printer or lab that requires 300 ppi minimum then you should check the image size and if it's below min. then resize and resample. Use bicubic smoother to enlarge the image.

    To increase the image to poster size increase the size by 10% and select Bicubic Smoother. Continue in 10% steps until you reach the size you want. This is usually done using Image Size, not a crop.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 19, 2009
  3. Butlerkid

    Butlerkid Cafe Ambassador Moderator

    Apr 8, 2008
    Rutledge, Tennessee
    1. It depends... If your current image doesn't cleanly re-size to 8x10 or 5x7, you'll have to do some cropping. I use the crop too and make sure to include my resolution.

    2. CS4 can up-size very well - up to a point. If you are more than doubling a photo you might want to consider Genuine Fractals.
  4. paradiddle


    Jun 1, 2007
    Greg and Karen-

    Thanks very much. I am going to have to print this out and slowly study.......

    So I have been thinking about this. I am currently shooting with a D80. Straight out of the camera with no cropping the pictures must have a size. Based on something? Do you know what the native size of a print is out of a D80?

    Also I am very close to getting a D700. I guess those numbers will all change.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 19, 2009
  5. To add to what Greg said, if you find yourself printing in studio/home you may want to look at Qimage. It gives some of the best results and is really a time saver.
  6. The image size of the D80 is 3,872 × 2,592 pixels which means you'd have no problem printing 36" x 24" at Mpix.

    The image size of the D700 is 4,256 x 2,832
  7. paradiddle


    Jun 1, 2007
    Thanks to all your help.

    I think I do understand now. I just need to keep in mind the aspect ratio to start.

    So straight out of my D80 shooting raw

    2592 pixels Wide 10.8"
    3872 pixels Tall 16.133"
    240 pixels/In

    I cropped to 8X10 (Same Aspect Ratio as 16X20)
    Now for some reason
    2588 pixels Wide 16"
    3235 pixels Tall 23.9"
    or 161 pixels per inch.

    That meets MPix standards. Lets see how they print!

  8. They will print perfectly. Straight out of the camera without a crop you can print 24"x36"

    I normally use their standard paper for people. For flowers and landscapes give the Metallic a try some day and see if you like it.
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